For the Crust:
1 3/4 cups (5 1/2 oz./170g) graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup (2 oz./60g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (4 oz./125g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the Filling:
2 lb. (1kg) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz./250g) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz./250ml) heavy (double) cream
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. water
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
3 thin lemon slices
A combination of sliced mango, papaya and pineapple
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
To Make the Crust:
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and lemon zest, and process to mix well. Add the butter and process until the crumbs begin to stick together. Drape your hand with plastic wrap to form a glove, and press the crumbs evenly and firmly over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a round 9-inch x 2 1/2-inch deep springform pan. Bake the crust 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
To Make the Filling:
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and granulated sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until well blended. Beat in 1/2 cup (4 fl.oz./125ml) of the cream, the lemon juice and lemon zest until incorporated.
Place the water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let soften for 5 minutes. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir until the gelatin is dissolved, then gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 (4 fl oz./125ml) cup cream. Add the gelatin mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Spoon the filling into the cooled crust. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
Remove cheesecake from refrigerator. Release the pan sides and place the cake on a serving plate. Overlap the lemon slices atop the center of the cake, or garnish cheesecake with sliced tropical fruit. Cut into wedges to serve.
Makes one 9-inch (23cm) cheesecake; 12 servings.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2003
Date: October 10, 2003